Stress and Creativity, although they are completely different elements, share a causal relationship that explains some of the most important things in Life. Both can be better understood if the reflection refers to a common root:
The existence of Stress and the lack of Creativity originate in the way that man gives to the use of a faculty that distinguishes him in nature: his ability to Think.
Many times Stress is taken as an inescapable consequence of the work dynamics and the very fact of living in “these times”. Almost always managed with the basic logic of learning to live with him as an “annoying passenger” that accompanies a long journey and whose presence is inevitable.
This stress management is not only superficial, ineffective and exhausting, it is also counterproductive to achieve success in the tasks performed.
Most people are accustomed to fighting the effects of Stress and pay little attention to the resolution of their causes. And when the effects of stress are addressed to the detriment of the causes, the effort itself becomes an additional source of nervous tension and increases the rigor of the whole picture.
It is not that it is easier to attack the effects than the causes, it is simply more practical and consistent with the urgency, almost a “reflex” attitude that over time becomes a habit. On the other hand, there is no special stimulus for people to give more importance to the reasons that provoke stress than to its consequences, given that the belief that Stress is as inevitable as an annoying rainy day is rooted and the remedy is to be prepared for the eventuality in the best possible way. Then “if I’m going to get wet anyway, better always charge a good umbrella and a raincoat.”
However, it is not only a demonstrable fact that Stress can destroy the best things that life offers, it is above all something that affects the daily Productivity and therefore the ability to achieve goals efficiently and with Competitive Advantage. Thus, it no longer becomes just an “annoying companion” on the trip, it becomes an agent that hinders the trip itself and prevents it from reaching its destination.
The Competitive Advantage is the possibility of performing labor, professionally and business better than others. For this, the proper management of stress is a fundamental issue, one that far exceeds one’s intellectual capacity and physical potential. Napoleon said that the moral is to the physical four times to one, and say the great strategists of the East that the Mental Advantage is the Ultimate Advantage.
There are many Causes that detonate Stress in people, but a fundamental one has to do precisely with mental processes. There, in the complex frameworks of the Mind develops the dynamic that defines the quality of life of people, their productivity and their ability to be competitive.
Most people do not have the power to control their Mind and use it for their purposes efficiently, on the contrary, they are usually dominated by it to a point of complete subordination and subtle slavery.
The “control of the Mind” does not have the connotation of other writings here. Many say (surely with the necessary knowledge and property), that the human being uses in a minimum degree the Power that the Mind has, and to do it better would conquer great borders. If that is the case, these lines neither deny it nor affirm it. It is not the purpose. What is argued here is that people are dominated by their mental processes and in that sense they lack control over it.
The mental processes that dominate people and thus generate the root cause of stress are manifested through the thoughts. They are, in a continuous and interminable current those that condition the perceptions of the external world and the behaviors. People think incessantly, every second, every moment of their Life. Thinking is no longer just a natural function that allows interaction with external phenomena, it is an addiction that nourishes and enhances itself. It is claimed that more than 90% of thoughts are repetitive and occupy the mind in the same way as those aggressive electronic viruses that modern life has created. Thousands, millions of continuous thoughts throughout each moment of life, most of them devoid of any use.
A significant part of those thoughts refers to past experiences and a substantially larger part, to the future. Thoughts that refer to everything that happened and what could happen, thoughts related to elements that can not be controlled. Weigh and depression with respect to the past and anxiety in relation to the future.
When this endless stream of thoughts occupies the Mind, it takes away functionality and cancels it for a simple reason: NOTHING can be done in relation to the past and very little in relation to the future . If the Mind concentrates on these dimensions, it has the same functionality of the engine that accelerates in Neutral: it does not move in any direction despite “operating at full capacity”. These “idle thoughts” accompany people to any place, they are omnipresent, timeless, impious, irreducible.
Precisely the most important and distinguished factor of man in nature, his capacity to think, is the one that ultimately enslaves him, makes him inefficient and reduces his competitiveness.
It is often advised that the way to combat the problem is to invest effort in replacing the idle and negative thoughts with more profitable ones, but that also produces conflict in the internal dialogue. It is not easy to be optimistic and positive when this must be achieved as a result of overcoming pessimism and negativity. The very struggle of these opposites generates a tension that only leads to more mental saturation.
The most logical remedy seems absurd: stop thinking . Establish pauses in the endless flow of mental processes.
What is the basis of this logic? One simple to understand: if from the set of habitual thoughts a small percentage is finally useful and productive, “stop thinking” allows the vast majority of idle thoughts to be eliminated and do not occupy precious space. In this way the probability that the mind “believes” what is really valuable and useful increases. This is what is understood by Creativity.
The greatest ideas, the transcendental inventions, the most beautiful works of art, the effective solutions and the transforming dreams were born from that space of Creativity that lives hidden among the tangle of thoughts that dominate every moment of time in the human mind. Creativity does not emerge as a product of the accumulation of thoughts or the effort invested in ordering and processing them, it arises from that small margin that generates the pause in the mental maelstrom, that space that lacks conventions, beliefs, formats, that space that has nothing what to do with “the built” because it is precisely new and is “being created”.
The conventional thoughts are the product of the history that each man has, a history that not only refers to its own existence but to the generations that preceded it, a story that is the same one that explains the blog of humanity from the beginning of the time. Man is finally what has been his story. From here come the values, the principles, the ideologies, the beliefs, the convictions. A set of elements “built” and therefore opposed to Creativity.
Few things can be created from formats made with rigidity. Creation is based precisely on what is “non-existent”, on what “is not”.
the Creativity nor does it arise as a response to forecasts or the vision of the future. Creativity is genesis, therefore it does not exist in terms of the future either. It can effectively be a solution to problems of the past and of that conditioning way of the future, but it does not arise neither in this nor in that, Creativity is a sublime effect of living in the Present, in the Now. And here emerges another captivating truth: thoughts have no reference in the Present, they do not have the capacity to work on it. People believe that they think “in this moment”, but all thoughts of “this moment” are really linked to the past or the future, near or remote, as close as the moment barely passed or the moment to come. In this sense, for the thoughts there are only two facts: problems recorded in the past and problems to solve in the future. In it there is space for Stress and not for Creativity.
Stop thinking, therefore, solve the stress that leads to stress and enable the conditions for creativity to work. Thus, not only incomparable foundations are generated to achieve Competitive Advantages, thus genuine Quality of Life is achieved.
The challenge therefore is not to find ways to combat the effects of Stress or to persecute the Muses that activate Creativity, the challenge is to stop thinking, concentrating on the fact of living the Present, the Now, the only space in which it manifests itself Life itself and all its Power.
There are innumerable works and authors that approach the subject. The spiritual foundations of many religions and disciplines contribute to understand the importance of living in the Present and reduce the depression and anxiety caused by living in the “psychological time” that man has invented as the order of his existence. All of them have virtues and voids, all of them are elements that the interested and willing man must take to “immerse” himself in the understanding and practice of an element that is as vital as the air he breathes. The definitive or absolute truths can hardly be included in any particular work or thought, so the knowledge and practice of this only reaches who genuinely wants it, who ultimately takes conscience of the importance of doing so.
Some time ago I read again the fabulous work of Eckhart Tolle: “The Power of Now”. Its content is fresh and refreshing, probably because it touches on a subject that, like the Present itself, is completely timeless. His only reading, however, only manages to activate awareness about the importance of the matter. The rest of the way is a personal crusade of life, one that has the stimulus to solve the primary causes of Stress and find the wonderful sources of Creativity.
There will be some, as is my own case, to whom the previous stimulus, even with all its hierarchy, does not fully convince. In this sense, the fact of reaching Competitive Advantages in the performance of the tasks carried out can constitute another important stimulus. The Competitive Advantages in the personal and professional field are not reached only with knowledge, erudition or hard work, they are reached from a space where the Stress is captive and the Creativity finds propitious ways to reach the surface of the Forms.
There will be others, as is my own case, who are tired of responding with impotence to an endless stream of painful thoughts every moment of life, thoughts about what was and what you want it to be, thoughts that place tranquility and the satisfaction always in a future, in “that” moment in which what is pursued to be “complete” will be achieved. That life that has us chasing a carrot tied to our forehead.
There will also be, as is my own case, those who finally want to know Life in its true essence, the one that eludes us since we were born.